Welcome to wonderful Whitby. This coastal town has something special, and has long been popular with visitors to Yorkshire’s Coast, owing to it’s delightful harbour, which is surrounded by pretty houses and accommodation, restaurants and fun things to do. All this splendour is overlooked by historic Whitby Abbey, and alongside a sandy beach.
Take a stroll along the harbour walls, from where you may be lucky to see seals, dolphins and porpoises playing as little fishing boats chug by. A boat ride is highly recommended.
Table of Contents
An Introduction to Whitby
From the atmospheric Abbey towering over winding cobbled streets to the windswept beach and working harbour, Whitby is not your traditional coastal town. No trip to this picturesque ancient seaport would be complete without sampling some award-winning fish and chips, following the footsteps of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and English explorer Captain James Cook or discovering the history of the famous Whitby Jet.
Places to Stay in Whitby
The following hotels are in or very close to Whitby.
There’s more hotels to choose from in Whitby. Click here to view them all. You may also be interested in Whitby apartments.
Self Catering Holiday Cottages
Below you can see a small sample of the many great holiday cottages in Whitby. Click here to view them all. Also see the range of B&Bs in Whitby.
Events in Whitby
Date & Time:January 19th, 2024 7:00pm
Date & Time:November 6th, 2023 2:00pm
Date & Time:January 18th, 2024 7:00pm
Date & Time:November 5th, 2023 5:00pm
Date & Time:January 20th, 2024 2:00pm
Latest about Whitby
Whitby is one of the most famous and popular seaside towns in Yorkshire.
Whitby is split by the River Esk. On the East Cliff, overlooking the North Sea, the ruined Gothic Whitby Abbey was Bram Stoker’s inspiration for “Dracula”. Nearby is the Church of St. Mary, reached by 199 steps.
The Captain Cook Memorial Museum, in the house where Cook once lived, displays paintings and maps.
West of town is West Cliff Beach, lined with beach huts.
As well as being the birthplace of some of modern history’s best known stories, Whitby has a maritime, mineral and tourist heritage.
Tourism started in Whitby during the Georgian period and developed with the arrival of the railway in 1839. Its attraction as a tourist destination is enhanced by the proximity of the high ground of the North York Moors national park and the heritage coastline and by association with the horror novel Dracula.
For industry, as well as fishing, Jet and alum were mined locally, and Whitby jet, which was mined by the Romans and Victorians, became fashionable during the 19th century.
The abbey ruin at the top of the East Cliff is the town’s oldest and most prominent landmark.
Other significant features include the swing bridge, which crosses the River Esk and the harbour, which is sheltered by the grade II listed East and West piers.
The town’s maritime heritage is commemorated by statues of Captain Cook and William Scoresby, as well as the whalebone arch that sits at the top of the West Cliff.
The town also has a strong literary tradition and has featured in literary works, television and cinema.
Whitby on the Map
Whitby has a train station, at the end of a branch line from Middlesbrough, and is on the main A171 road which runs from Middlesbrough to Scarborough. There is a junction in the middle of the town with the A174 which follows the coast more closely, through the towns of Saltburn, Marske and Redcar.
Is Whitby worth visiting?
Short answer: yes! A compact, historic harbour town with bustling cafe’s, restaurants, steps up to an ancient abbey and glorious sea views.
What is Whitby famous for?
Who is the most famous person in Whitby?
Captain Cook – Captain James Cook is famous for his discovery of Australia. He was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, captain in the British Royal Navy and most likely one of Whitby’s most famous people.
Why is Whitby famous for Dracula?
Novelist, Bram Stoker, stayed in Whitby and used the ancient ruins of the abbey overlooking the cliffs as the setting for his gothic horror “Dracula”.
Whitby Fact Pack
- Whitby is a seaside town in North Yorkshire, England.
- The town has a population of around 13,000 people.
- Whitby is known for its picturesque harbour, stunning cliff-top views, and historic abbey ruins.
- The town has a rich history, with evidence of human habitation dating back to the Bronze Age.
- Whitby is famous for its association with Captain James Cook, who served his apprenticeship in the town.
- The town is home to several famous landmarks, including the Whitby Abbey, the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, and the Whitby Museum.
- Whitby is a popular destination for holidaymakers, with a wide range of accommodation options, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and self-catering cottages.
- The town is famous for its seafood, particularly its smoked kippers, which are a local delicacy.
- Whitby is also famous for its jet jewellery, which is made from fossilized wood found in the cliffs and beaches around the town.
- The town has a thriving cultural scene, with several art galleries and museums, including the Pannett Art Gallery and the Whitby Art Society.
- Whitby is a popular location for music festivals and events, including the Whitby Folk Week and the Whitby Goth Weekend.
- The town has a strong connection to Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” with the author having stayed in the town and used it as the setting for parts of his famous novel.
- Whitby has a range of outdoor activities available, including surfing, fishing, and hiking in the nearby North York Moors National Park.
- The town has several beautiful beaches, including the West Cliff Beach and the Tate Hill Beach.
- Whitby is a great base for exploring the rest of North Yorkshire, with excellent transport links to nearby towns and cities.
- The town has a rich maritime history, with fishing and shipbuilding being key industries throughout its history.
- Whitby is home to several beautiful parks and gardens, including the Pannett Park and the Whitby Museum Garden.
- The town is a popular destination for walkers, with several coastal and countryside walks available in the surrounding area.
- Whitby is home to several historic churches and chapels, including St. Mary’s Church and the Whitby Baptist Church.
- The town has several excellent restaurants and cafes, serving a range of local and international cuisine.
- Whitby is a popular location for film and TV productions, with several notable productions having been filmed in the town, including “Dracula” and the TV series “Heartbeat.”
- The town has a strong connection to the fishing industry, with several fishing boats still operating from the harbour.
- Whitby is home to several historic buildings, including the Whitby Jet Works, which has been in operation since the 19th century.
- The town has a range of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Whitby Regatta and the Whitby Pirate Festival.
- Whitby is a beautiful and historic town, with a unique character and charm that make it a must-visit destination on the North Yorkshire coast.